9 Pitch Competition Tips To Prepare For Investors
What is one tip you'd give an entrepreneur preparing for a pitch competition?
To help future business owners prepare for pitch competitions, we asked a panel of business professionals and leaders for their best tips. From having various lengths of pitches ready to speaking with former participants, here are several ways that may help you better prepare for your next pitch.
The nine pitch tips for entrepreneurs:
- Practice All Aspects of the Pitch
- Consider Telling a Story
- Do Your Best to Be Objective
- Speak With Former Participants
- Over-Prepare and Stand Out
- Know How to Defend Your Business
- Focus on the Essentials
- Be Yourself
- Have a Long, Medium and Short Pitch Ready
Practice All Aspects of the Pitch
Practice. Practice. And then practice some more. In a pitch competition, you should be sure to create a presentation and have some of your data ready, but if you don't practice, your message won't be delivered as well as it could. Your practice should include knowing how to use and troubleshoot any technology you are utilizing, knowing the outline of your pitch deck, delivering your presentation in the time you are allotted, and then doing a dress rehearsal of the whole process. If you can, ask friends and family to watch so you can get used to having an audience and get helpful feedback.
Randall S Smalley II, Cruise America
Consider Telling a Story
When getting ready for a pitch competition, telling a compelling story is a fast way to engage your audience. Stories are relatable and help illustrate the problem your business solves in an investor pitch. For example, as a security awareness training company, we like to talk about the fact that a phishing email is often the cause of cyberattacks and engaging employee training can lessen its possibility many times over.
Nick Santora, Curricula
Do Your Best to Be Objective
When pitching your business, you are usually the person that spent the most time reflecting on its potential. This often produces an unwanted effect of rationalizing your convictions even if they don't check out mathematically. We usually tend to justify our choices post factum, and with business ideas, this phenomenon is magnified. Seeking external comments and analysis can mitigate bias and add credibility. Also, referring to objective market data can do the trick and balance the overall trustability of the pitch.
Michael Sena, Senacea
Speak With Former Participants
Each pitch competition is slightly different, and it is helpful to speak with other entrepreneurs who have pitched at the competition before. There's a lot of insights that can be gained through these conversations to help perfect your pitch. Research previous events to identify the entrepreneurs who have pitched, and reach out to them for an informational interview. Entrepreneurs are generally helpful and willing to give back, especially to someone who is looking to learn.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors
Over-Prepare and Stand Out
When preparing a pitch, entrepreneurs should go above and beyond to prepare in order to quickly answer any questions that will follow the pitch. The pitch itself should be organized and well researched, but over-preparing for follow-up questions with data and evidence that backs your idea will help your pitch stand out from the crowd. Your pitch’s preparation will show your commitment to your idea and display confidence and capability to make your pitch’s vision come to life
Than Merrill, FortuneBuilders
Know How to Defend Your Business
If you're going into a pitch competition, you want to make sure your business idea is defensible. When preparing, instead of focusing on the aspects of your idea that you think are great, focus on the pain points of your target market. Investors are typically pragmatic, so if your idea works and can make money, then it's good.
Brandon Brown, Grin
Focus on the Essentials
When preparing for a pitch competition, try to keep your pitch short and sweet while including only the essential information. In a pitch competition, investors want to know why your business is important and if your plan is solid.
Craig Carter, Jack Mason
First and foremost, be yourself. Early on in the company’s lifecycle, investors invest in founders more so than the product or idea. It’s important to be authentic and true to who you are. Tell your story and how your product or service solves a problem. Be confident in who you are and what your abilities and experiences can do to make your business a success. These are the things that will draw investors into your pitch and want to help you succeed.
Sara Shah, Journ